Tag Archives: slave

The customer is always right?

15 Jul

“Waitress, waitress, my food’s cold and I need some more water. Oh yeah, you forgot to bring me another fork.”

This is what I heard in my dazed reverie as I leaned against the kitchen sink. But you can replace waitress with mom. I shrugged off the shroud of sleep deprivation that has become my constant cloak these days and dashed to the refrigerator to retrieve the requested item.

I held a lot of jobs during school—from retail to personal trainer to staff writer at the school newspaper. But for whatever reason, I was never a waitress. I always chalked it up to my own shortcomings in diplomacy or perhaps never the right opportunity. Though I occasionally thought I was missing out on some teen-aged rite of passage by eschewing the food industry.

And then, I had kids….

Being a mom has proven to be the ultimate exercise in patience, especially when it comes to preparing and serving food. It is never served fast enough, or a loud, rude three-year-old tells you that she “wants oatmeal, NOT cereal.” (She did say cereal the first go-round.) And your baby pounds the highchair tray with her sippy cup which is matched by the annoying shout-chant emitting from her pouty, pink lips. Meanwhile, mommy rushes around feverishly trying to accommodate everyone’s demands no matter how irrational. Even the dog crouches in the corner waiting with baited breath and pleading eyes begging you to slurp the last of the kid’s cereal into his bowl.

After you bust your buns to make everyone a happy customer, what do you get for your efforts…..perhaps a nice fat tip, or a “thanks for keeping me well-fed?” Not so much. Not only are you slaving for the world’s most unsatisfied customers, there is no financial payoff to make up for your seemingly futile dash from kitchen to dining room. And you think to yourself, ok, I willingly chose to bear these precious little gems.

So I have to imagine that waitressing, while often called a thankless job, has to be better, or certainly easier, than the lot I’ve chosen. At least those customers don’t throw food on the ground or at you and screech as the top of their lungs just because they can. I know that I have many mommy waitress days ahead of me, and now maybe I can add waitress to my resume.